Coasting (2010) – By Cary Conley

Coasting:  going through the motions of life without being truly happy.

Wes Murray (Jonathan C. Legat) and Lauren Brunner (Stephanie Wyatt) are both coasting through life.  Both Wes and Lauren are working in unfulfilling jobs and both are in unfulfilling relationships.  While on the surface they have managed to convince everyone—including themselves—that they are happy, deep down both of them know that they cannot continue living their lives the way they are now.

While attending an out-of-town funeral, Wes and Lauren meet by chance in a bar.  They share drinks, good conversation, and laughter.  In the space of one evening, they form a deep bond, but they are destined to go their separate ways the next morning to continue coasting through their lives.  But neither is far from the other’s mind.

About a year later, Wes finds himself attending another funeral in the same small town.  Confused and depressed, he makes his way down to the same little bar only to run into Lauren again.  The two waste no time with small talk, spending a wonderful evening together.  As Lauren leaves, the two make plans to meet the next afternoon.  But relationships are seldom simple and this particular relationship proves to be a bit more complicated than the two counted on.

With Coasting, director Michael P. Noens has crafted a witty and poignant romantic comedy/drama.  Perfectly balancing the film with a combination of laughs and romance, Noens manages to keep this sometimes stale genre fresh.  Both Legat and Wyatt are exceptional and the cast of supporting actors are very good as well.  The characterizations come across as truly authentic and the viewer won’t find it difficult to identify with Wes and Lauren as they come to terms with the reality of their relationship.

Technically, the film is superb, with wonderful camera shots, smooth editing, and lovely transitions.  The soundtrack by Geoff Shell is one of the best I’ve heard in a long while, with each musical cue meshing perfectly with the film’s scenes.

This is a fun, sometimes sentimental, but always thoughtful little film that deserves a wide audience.  I highly recommend tracking this movie down at a screening if you can find it—it will be worth your while!

For information on screenings for Coasting, you can go to www.coastingmovie.com.